Original Star Wars Editor Shares Why She Thinks The Sequel Trilogy Is 'Terrible'

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This December will mark the second anniversary of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s release, the movie that concluded both the Sequel Trilogy that launched in 2015, as well as the Skywalker Saga as a whole. As with a lot of things in the Star Wars franchise, opinions range on the quality of the Sequel Trilogy, but it looks like we can count Marcia Lucas, one of the editors on Star Wars: A New Hope and ex-wife of creator George Lucas, among its detractors. In fact, she went so far as to call The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker “terrible.”

Marica Lucas’ opinions about the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy came to light when she was interviewed for Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life (via Indiewire), a book by the late J.W. Rinzler focusing on the producer who worked The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, among other things. But during the interview, which took place between the releases of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams, who helmed Episodes VII and IX, came up, and Lucas subsequently revealed why she doesn’t like the Sequel Trilogy. In her words:

I like Kathleen. I always liked her. She was full of beans. She was really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I liked her husband, Frank. I liked them a lot. Now that she’s running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have a clue about Star Wars. They don’t get it. And JJ Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo. Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of Star Wars. You’re getting rid of Han Solo?

Marcia Lucas was an integral contributor to the original Star Wars trilogy, having shared editing duties on A New Hope with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew, as well as editing Return of the Jedi with Sean Barton and Duwayne Dunham (she also did uncredited work on The Empire Strikes Back). Furthermore, it was her idea for Obi-Wan Kenobi to die in his duel with Darth Vader and continue mentoring Luke Skywalker as a spirit, as opposed to survive the conflict with the Sith Lord. Fast-forward several decades, Lucas isn’t pleased with what Disney has done with the Star Wars property, and takes particular umbrage with Han Solo being killed off.

For what it’s worth, Harrison Ford did have the idea of having Han Solo die in Return of the Jedi, and while that obviously didn’t come to pass, Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams (along with some assistance from then-Disney CEO Bob Iger) decided for the character to meet such a fate in The Force Awakens. But it wasn’t just Han’s death that bothered Marcia Lucas; she also took issue with the Sequel Trilogy did with Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, among other things. As she put it:

They have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year. And they think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is. It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me—‘JJ Abrams, Kathy Kennedy—talk to me.’

While Marcia Lucas certainly isn’t the only one who was bothered by Luke Skywalker dying in The Last Jedi, let’s not forget that it was Rian Johnson who delivered that narrative beat, not JJ Abrams. And as far as Lucas’ comments on Rey go, we did ultimately learn that Daisy Ridley’s character was the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, but even if that hadn’t happened, there are countless Jedi/Sith/Force-sensitive characters who are powerful regardless of familial ties. Still, I suspect even if Lucas were to be asked about her thoughts on the Sequel Trilogy now, nearly two years separated from The Rise of Skywalker, she’d feel the same way.

The film side of the Star Wars franchise is still on a break, but fans can look forward to Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron hitting theaters on December 22, 2023. In the meantime, there’s plenty of Star Wars TV shows to keep us occupied, including the anime series Visions arriving this week and The Book of Boba Fett coming in December.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.